It begins with a girl: TukTuk SameSame

Editor’s Note: Daughter Shelby is in Cambodia this week working with a missions group from Antioch Church and partnering with Transitions Global on human trafficking issues. You can follow her other posts back through the blog.

By Shelby Dee

Tuk Tuks are our major mode of transportation this week. Opened-aired chariots. No A/C. No radio. No entertainment systems. A ride in a Tuk is an experience for all the senses. Bouncing around potholes. Through mud puddles. On the wrong side of the road. Cutting across and through traffic. The smells are strong, both good and bad. The exhaust and dirt stick to your teeth even after the ride is over. But there’s a flip side.

At relatively slow speeds and no tinted windows, you get to see the city as well. The vehicles. The buildings. The animals. The food. The people. Especially the children.

A group of young ones stretch a rope between them and begin to play a game.

A group of girls in matching uniforms and pink backpacks hold hands as they walk home from school.

A boy spins helicopter circles in the drive of a storefront that’s very likely his home too.

A teen blows bubbles for small children to chase and pop.

A mama wipes the nose of the baby on her hip.

A daddy reaches down to take hold of his son’s hand as they begin to cross the street.

And among them a young man wears a shirt that reads, “Same Same But Different.”

A ride through Phnom Penh in a Tuk might not look like a ride through any American city, but when you look a little closer it’s easy to see that we’re all the same, even when we’re different.

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.


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